Tag Archives: New Music

Composer Matt Marks: Cause of death revealed

Composer-performer Matt Marks, seen here performing in 2010, died Friday from heart failure, his fiancée, composer Mary Kouyoumdjian, tells The New York Times.

The Times obituary also cited information from Marks’ sister, Los Angeles TV journalist Suzanne Marques, about a genetic condition her brother had.

Marks, who was 38 when he died in St. Louis while working with the New Music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, which he confounded, was diagnosed at age 9 with HHT (hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia), a genetic disorder that causes formation of abnormal blood vessels, Marques tells the Times, expanding on a Facebook post she wrote the day after Marks died.

The disorder helped fuel his intellectual curiosity, Marques said, because it forced him to avoid physical exertion.

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UPDATE: Fund for composer Mary Kouyoumdjian after death of fiancé Matt Marks passes $33,000

Composers Matt Marks and Mary Kouyoumdjian on a trip to Maine posted on her Facebook page.

The Columbia University music faculty has set up a GoFundMe campaign for composer Mary Kouyoumdjian’s possible “emergency costs” in the wake of the death of her fiancé, composer and Alarm Will Sound founding member Matt Marks.

By midday Tuesday, the fund, whose initial goal was $5,000, had attracted more than $33,000 in contributions.

To view the campaign and donate, GO HERE.

On the Slipped Disc New Music blog, commenter trolls (I guess there are trolls in every part of the internet, but this stunned me) have been horribly and unnecessarily brutal in questioning or condemning the fund-raising campaign for Kouyoumdjian.

I don’t know what unexpected expenses she might be facing as a result of her fiancé’s death, but it seems to me that it’s an individual’s prerogative to contribute to any cause he or she chooses.

Although I haven’t seen a wedding date for the couple mentioned, recent social media posts indicate the couple must have set one. There were mentions of picking out a dress and tasting wedding cakes, things that generally aren’t done prospectively,

Marks’ death Friday morning remains officially unexplained, though his sister, Suzanne Marques, in a lovingly gut-wrenching Facebook tribute to her “baby brother,” discusses a serious health issue he faced. Her exposition appears to provide at least a clue to what might have happened.

It cast something of a pall on this weekend’s Bang on a Can Marathon — a 10-plus hour concert of New Music, the world that nurtures the music of Marks and Kouyoumdjian — at New York University’s Skirball Performing Arts Center, It was addressed in a beautiful statement read by Bang on a Can All-Stars member Ken Thomson.

Check out the Bang on a Can Marathon: Hear amazing music for free

Bang on a Can founder Michael Gordon introduces a performance of his composition "Exalted," featuring the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and JACK Quartet, at the 2011 Bang on a Can Marathon. (Photo  © 2011, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Bang on a Can founder Michael Gordon introduces a performance of his composition “Exalted,” featuring the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and JACK Quartet, at the 2011 Bang on a Can Marathon. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Roomful of Teeth, Jherek Bischoff, Anonymous 4, So Percussion, more featured on 8-hour program

Head to the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place at the World Financial Center  in lower Manhattan on Sunday afternoon for a fantastic exploration of New Music.

The 2014 edition of the annual Bang on a Can Marathon starts at 2 p.m. and runs through 10 p.m. You can come and go as you please, sampling everything from serious compositions by Bang on a Can‘s founding composers — Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang — to works by rock band The National’s Bryce Dessner, along with performances by the inimitable Meredith Monk, Jherek Bischoff, So Percussion, and female vocal quartet Anonymous 4.

Tap or click here to see the full performance schedule.

This event is really a must to experience in person — you’ll see artists mingling with audience in chance encounters throughout the show, get to see and buy CDs and merchandise at the huge merch table, and maybe even take a break to go shopping in the urban mall.

And be sure to check out Found Sound Nation, which hosts its Street Studio – a mobile recording studio where anyone can spontaneously create and record original music!

If you can’t get there, you don’t have to miss out, though. It will be webcast in HD audio and videol.

Tap or click here to WATCH LIVE.

 

Sandy can’t stop New Amsterdam from forging ahead with plans for Ecstatic Music Festival 2013

Clogs

Clogs, Bang On a Can, Deerhoof, Shara Worden, Karla Kihlstedt among the acts on adventurous music series’s killer lineup of shows coming up in January and February

Superstorm Sandy did a real number on the New Amsterdam Records headquarters in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a month ago. The good folks at the nonprofit record company/concert presenting organization are still struggling to recover from the devastation. (Please help them with a donation if you haven’t already — or even if you have. Just click here.)

Despite the devastation, they folks at NewAm have forged ahead with plans for a killer lineup for the next installment of their groundbreaking concert series at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan. It’s something we here at Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? always look forward to.

The 2013 edition, which kicks off in late January, offers one of the strongest lineups ever. It’s hard to know where to start.

My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus? Check.

Clogs with NewAm founder Sarah Kirkland Snider? Check.

Deerhoof and Dal Niente with Marcos Balter? Check.

Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Daniel Wohl and Transit (an adventurous ensemble that my pal Andie Springer is involved in)? Yep.

The Bang on a Can People’s Commissioning Fund Concert? Yes, indeed.

I could go on. But you get the idea. Check out the full schedule. And buy tickets. Now. You won’t want to miss any of these shows.

For schedule, tickets and more info, click here. Single tickets are just $25, while a festival pass is a mere $150 — and worth every penny.

Trust me on this one.

Tito Muñoz named music director of Ensemble LPR

Tito Muñoz

New York native takes baton for (le) poisson rouge nightclub’s resident orchestra as it prepares to reveal its first full season of concerts

(Le) Poisson Rouge

(Le) Poisson Rouge today announced the appointment of conductor Tito Muñoz to lead its bespoke house orchestra, Ensemble LPR.

LPR is one of New York City’s leading music venues, featuring everything from rock and folk to classical. But from its inception, LPR has been a champion of modern classical music, or so-called New Music.

Muñoz takes the baton just as the ensemble is preparing its final concert of  2012 as it accompanies British composer-performer Max Richter in the U.S. debut of his “Vivaldi Recomposed: The Four Seasons,” with violin soloist Daniel Hope.

Two performance of “Vivaldi Recomposed” are scheduled at LPR next month. Click here for more details and tickets.

(Both Richter performances will also stream live on LPR’s streaming channel.)

“Ensemble LPR is a special voice in the music world; an ensemble capable of performing anything, breaking barriers and genres,” Muñoz said in a statement released this morning. “I am excited to bring my passion for versatility and artistic excellence to the group, and look forward to all of our future musical adventures.” Continue reading

Donate to help New Amsterdam Records recover from Sandy’s devastation and you’ll be helping the cause of New Music, too

Nonprofit New Music powerhouse is really on the ropes in the wake of the storm

A photo of some of the losses is posted on New Amsterdam’s blog.

Please donate now to help New Amsterdam, if you can

Superstorm Sandy wasn’t kind to anyone in the New York metro area. But our friends at New Amsterdam Records, which became the virtual center of the New Music universe here in recent years, has really taken it on the chin.

Their Brooklyn headquarters at 98A Van Dkye St. in Red Hook — where they’ve been for just six month or so — has been devastated by the storm. The nonprofit New Amsterdam (they’ve had 501 (c)(3) status for a year) lost all its financial records. And the storm wiped out 70% of their CDs, which New Amsterdam held and distributed for the artists, who actually owned them.

Yes, this all really, really sucks. But New Amsterdam ‘s co-founders, Judd Greenstein, William Brittelle and Sarah Kirkland Snider didn’t get this far by being wussies. They’re a plucky bunch and they’re already looking toward brighter days.

Here’s where we come in: Let’s help them get to those brighter days faster. If you care about New Music, especially the artists that New Amsterdam has brought to attention in New York and the world with its CDs and its amazing Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall, kick in some cash. Help them out.

Click on their Hurricane Recovery page to make a tax-deductible donation.

And don’t forget to buy New Amsterdam products. Go to a record store, if you remember what that is. Or go online and buy from any of the wonderful online sites that carry NewAm CDs and downloads. Given the tremendous loss of product at HQ, it’s unlikely NewAm will be shipping anything anytime soon. But if you want to see what’s in the NewAm catalog, click here.

Much of the money goes directly to the artists, but New Amsterdam benefits from ever sale as well.

Once you’ve done your bit, follow New Amsterdam’s recovery on Facebook and Twitter, and check out photos on its Flickr stream.

And if you’re nearby, offer your time, too. Judd, Bill and Sarah are going to need all the help they can get.